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1st Bn Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regiment
Exercise 'Quickmarch'
Exercise 'Quickmarch' was the name given to the Battalion period of Training in Schleswig - Holstein from the 15th November to the 2nd December 1971. It proved to be a new experience for many members of the Battalion. We lived in Barns and farm out buildings, and trained over private land and in state forests. The training covered all aspects of war and involved and lot of 'Tabbing' and a lot of 'Digging' The exercises covered all the sub units within the Battalion culminating in a Brigade Exercise, where the Battalion had to attack an enemy camp, advance rapidly without any transport over a long distance, dig in , then withdraw, all within 24 hours.

A Soldier serving at the time remembers :-

"I don't know what the top brass were up to, but I clearly remember the 'Brass Monkey' weather. At one stage it was deemed to be so cold that they issued rum. Everything in that place was frozen solid, we froze on the march, in the trenches, out of the trenches, on patrol, there was no escaping it. We in the Rifle Companies suspected that the Battalion H.Q. lot were wrapped in cotton wool, but for all we knew we might as well have been on the moon, although I don't think the moon could have been that cold !!"

 

The Exercise was extensively photographed at the time. As a consequence we are able to produce a number of images confirming the statement made above by our anonymous 'Cold ' Soldier.

 

A STUDY IN MISERY

A Coy on Exercise 1971

Sgt MURRAY 1971

Two unidentified members of A Coy refusing to look at the camera Sgt MURRAY and Pte BRIDGETT of A Coy wishing they were back in Malta

GPMG TEAM

A Coy on Exercise 1971

G.P.M.G. team in full N.B.C. kit ready for action (At least its warmer in this kit) One unidentified member of A Coy whispers to the other " It that Camera bloke doesn't bugger off, I will stuff that tree where the sun don't shine"

A Coy on Exercise 1971

End Ex 1971

Roll on demob !! End Ex, Just as we finish the sun appears!!
 
"PAY AND PAY BOOK CORRECT, SIR"
Unlike today's modern soldier, the soldiers of the 70s wouldn't know what a 'Pin number' was if it hit them in the face. Pay was in cash, and across the table including whilst in the field. Evidence below

Sgt JOHNSONS PLT

B Coy to get paid

Sgt JOHNSON ?,(Acting Plt Comd), Cpl PINNELL (The Beast) Acting Plt Sgt and Cpl 'Mac' McIntyre come in out of the woods with Platoon from B Coy  to get paid B Company appear out of nowhere to get paid

Paymaster at work

McIntyres section getting paid

The Paymaster Capt STANGROOM (RAPC) trying to get rid of these aliens as quick as possible Cpl 'Mac' McIntyre and L/Cpl 'Spud' Taylor head the queue for money, (McIntyre pretending he can read !!)

 

BATTALION HEADQUARTERS
All generations of 'Farmersboys' will recognize the fact , that Battalion H.Q. Wallahs come from a different planet. They tend not to be as 'Well Ard' as the rifle Companies, and always seemed to inhabit the best billets (and the Warmest) Evidence below

Stores that never leave, "Feel the weight son, and get back to your hole", and by the way close the door behind you, its cold out there "I really feel for those Rifle Company Bods, mines a lager"

Commanding Officer Lt Col CRABTREE, and Maj Vernon POWELL suffering for the cause, (Note the Bar) "I've done my bit, I'm entitled to a bit of comfort in my old age"

Ben TURNER and Sgt COLE enduring the rigors of the sub zero temperatures Scobbie Watton reading other peoples mail

A sight to strike fear into any 'Farmerboys' heart, the situation where 'Farmersboys' of the officer variety are sighted consulting maps. Thereafter we are doomed to be like the flying Dutchman, i.e. forever lost !!
 
 
                             
 
                        
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                            Revised: 19 July 2006.